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Rasayana (Melvin Disraeli)

Acanthus Free Council; No Legacy; Hearthmaster of the Fivefold Vigil
Disciple of Fate
Concept: Magical Life Coach

Rasayana is a mage who wants to understand the limits of human destiny and potential. In mundane life he is an author and life coach offering his services to clients, organizing their lives and (hopefully) helping them reach their full potential. He is a reserved pseudo-academic, polite but a bit arrogant, and alternates between shyness and lecturing loudly.

His paternal grandfather was from England and most of his remaining family is Indian-British and Indian-American.

  • Attributes: Intelligence ••, Wits ••, Resolve •••; Strength ••, Dexterity ••, Stamina •••; Presence •••, Manipulation •••, Composure •••
  • Abilities: Academics 1, Computer 0, Crafts 1 (Rote), Investigation 1, Medicine 1, Occult 1, Politics 1, Science 2 (Rote); Athletics 2, Brawl 0, Drive 1, Firearms 1, Larceny 1, Stealth 0, Survival 0, Weaponry 0; Animal Ken 0, Empathy 2, Expression 2, Intimidation 1, Persuasion 3 (Rote), Socialize 2, Streetwise 0, Subterfuge 2
  • Merits: Fame 1, Hypnotic Voice 4, Resources 1, High Speech 1, Free Council Status 2 (Voter), Sanctum 1* Size(?)
  • Advantages: Health 8, Willpower 6, Wisdom 6, Size 5, Speed 8, Defense 2 (Armor 1/2), Initiative +5

  • Magic: Gnosis 3; Death 0, Fate 4, Forces 0, Life 0, Matter 0, Mind 2, Prime 0, Space 0, Spirit 0, Time 3
    • Rabbit's Foot: "[Bestow Exceptional Luck]", Fate •••, Manipulation + Persuasion + Fate;;
    • A Face You Can Trust: "[First Impressions]", Mind ••, Presence + Socialize + Mind;;
    • Strike True: "[Perfect Timing]", Time •, Intelligence + Composure + Time;
  • Nimbus: X

  • Possessions: Satchel, Leased Car, Shiny Watch. Clear Diamond (former earring) for reading Resonance.
    • Magical Items: X
    • Magical Tools: A demagnetized compass, with an open cover.
    • Weapons: Light automatic (9mm Glock): Dmg 2, Range 20/40/80, Str 2, Clip 17+1, Size 1; UZI tactical pen Dmg 1(crown collects DNA)
  • Other Notes: X


[edit] Mage Society

As a Voter (Status •) in the Free Council, you know the following information:

[edit] Mandatory Questions

These questions must be answered as part of character creation.

  1. Describe your character’s physical appearance.
    Unassuming man of 41, Indian background. Midwest accent. Has a shy and withdrawn posture, but he can also flash a big TV smile.
  2. Describe what it looks like when your character’s Nimbus manifests to those with Mage Sight. What does it look like when it bleeds over into mortal perceptions? (The Nimbus can be quite impressive to Mage Sight, but is always subtle to mortal perceptions.)
    Ancient alchemical symbols (Astrological signs, symbols of the planets/metals, etc.) peppered with self-help affirmations.
  3. Describe your character’s preferred Magical Tool, either a Path Tool or an Order Tool. If your character uses any Arcana Tools, describe those as well. Is there a background or back story to this item?
    Melvin owns a weathered brass compass. He rescued it from a family yard sale and it was given to him as a toy. The glass cover is missing. The needle spins freely, but is not magnetized. Whether it lost its charge or never had one, he doesn't know.
    Language and philosophy, confrontation (Platonic dialogues). 12-step plans. He's just started dealing with physical stuff, so he's dabbling with herbs & chemicals. Little crucible, files, burners. Tools are fancy and were bought for the purpose. It would never occur to him to use improvised tools like a blender or propane torch.
  4. When your character’s Unseen Senses trigger, what kind of sensation does your character experience? (This tends to be individual from mage to mage; some examples include a slight headache, a raising of the hairs on the back of the neck, goosebumps, a sudden change in temperature sensation, etc.)
    General confusion. The existential sense of “how little we truly know.” Funny confidence boost in those situations.
  5. Describe how your character most often interacts with her Virtue.
    Attempting to change people's lives for the better. (Hope)
  6. Describe how your character most often interacts with his Vice.
    Attempting to change people's lives for the better. (Pride)
  7. Describe your character’s Mentor, from her perspective. This is the person (not necessarily of the same Path) who brought you into the Order, and taught you the Order’s magical Praxis.
    Maybe Citrinas wanted to test whether there was anything worth salvaging from the “Life Coach” gig.
    "It took me a while to get used to her, um, unorthodox behavior and methods. I don't think I've ever been on the receiving side of patience and tolerance before. She shook me up, encouraged me to find my own way, and kept me grounded. She made sure I never forget how much Sleepers matter."
  8. Choose the Mage Sight your character uses most often. Describe to me how your character interprets the occult information granted by that spell; for instance, some mages perceive various Mage Sights as strains of music, strange smells, memory flashbacks from their own lives relevant to the information gained, physical sensations or other similar sensory input. Each form of Mage Sight usually has its own set of sensory symbols, often in line with aspects of the character’s personality, occult praxis or background.
    Maybe he sees things (and people?) simplified down to elemental formulas. It would fit with his easygoing (and unintentional) arrogance.
    When he hears Fateful words from the Sybil's Sight, he hears bells (Poe's full gamut from "The Bells," depending on good or ill omen)
  9. Choose a song that you think might serve as your character's "theme song."
    The cheaply uplifting theme song from his failed TV show.
  10. Does your character have any family?
  11. Your character has, at some point in his life, had something to do with the Hotel Regina. It has been out of business since the 1940s, so you won’t have visited it while it was in business. Your character doesn’t even have to had any kind of major interaction at the location — you simply have to have a moment in your character’s history where the Hotel Regina played some role, even if it was just as a backdrop. Perhaps an uncle was a photographer that loved buildings from the Thirties, or your mother had a framed print of the building in the living room over the hearth. Tell me what the Hotel means to your character.

[edit] Other Questions

The following questions can be answered as part of further development for the character once play begins. No more than two questions may be answered in between game sessions, and for every two questions answered the PC gains +1 point of Development Experience.

[edit] Background

  1. Where did your character grow up? Briefly describe his childhood and adolescence.
    Midwest, Wyoming maybe? Idyllic suburban background. Gently supportive parents. Not a genius in school, but not challenged, either. Little league/Pop Warner coach. Some volunteer work.
  2. Does your character have any family?
    He's been doing OK since the divorce, and they even talk sometimes.
  3. Your character has, at some point in his life, had something to do with the Hotel Regina. It has been out of business since the 1940s, so you won’t have visited it while it was in business. Your character doesn’t even have to had any kind of major interaction at the location — you simply have to have a moment in your character’s history where the Hotel Regina played some role, even if it was just as a backdrop. Perhaps an uncle was a photographer that loved buildings from the Thirties, or your mother had a framed print of the building in the living room over the hearth. Tell me what the Hotel means to your character.
  4. What part(s) of the character's childhood most influenced the person he/she is today? Describe an important lesson your character learned as a child.
  5. When the character was a child, what did he/she want to be when grown up?
  6. What was your character's first, or most memorable, love affair? It can be anything from a pre-teen crush to a memorable love affair. Be sure to describe the object of your character's affection, along with the changes that your character went through in terms of feelings and thoughts about that person. Did it start out as maddening hatred? Instant love? Who fell for whom first? Was love a surprise? Assuming it has, how did it all end? How do all involved (your character, your lover, rivals, observers, etc.) feel about it now?
    Had a tendency to try to “improve” or change friends and people he's been in a relationship with. Well-meaning but obnoxious. Ran some folks off that way..
  7. Assume your character is seeking companionship, and has the opportunity to write a detailed personal ad for an internet dating service (and was willing to do so, without fear of security risks or anything like that). Write the ad. Where would be the character's idea of a good place to take a date?

M4W -- Author and lecturer seeks companionship. Let's get a steak dinner and catch a movie some time. (No swords-and-sorcery, please!) I would love to go to a ballgame with you and discuss philosophy. I have an unpredictable schedule, but I will give you all my attention while we're together.

If things get serious, let's meet at your place. My roommates are in and out at all hours and have unorthodox hobbies.

Is it fate? Maybe we can reach our full potential together!

It’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests.

  1. What is your character’s most precious pre-Awakening memory?
  2. What is your character’s most traumatic or grief-inducing pre-Awakening memory?

[edit] Personality & Habits

  1. Name five things your character likes to do that have absolutely nothing to do with being a mage.
    Reading science fiction (but not fantasy – it's ridiculous), Bowling, Watching sports, Writing self-help books
  2. Is the character sentimental about anything? If so, what? If not, why not?
  3. What's your idea of getting "dressed up?"
    Three piece suit or shirt-tie and blazer. Looks like a game show host or TV preacher.
  4. Does the character have any catch phrases, nervous tics, or personal habits that would identify him/her?
    Incongruous cowboy drawl.
  5. Does your character believe in true love? Elaborate.
    Tough one. Believes at some level in a perfect match, broadly speaking. That there's somebody for everybody, theoretically but there is no guarantee you'll meet that person.
  6. Describe three public places that your character enjoys spending time at.
    Rasayana enjoys driving -- when he lets himself have free time he will get in the car and wander off to enjoy interesting spots or scenery, or parks. He also likes concerts & sporting events.
  7. Describe your personal bedroom space. What might someone poking about find, both in terms of actual things and in terms of what the space says about you?
    Rasayana's Quarters

A sparsely furnished open area with a plush rug divides Melvin's living space from a small room shut behind folding doors. A dimmer controls two art-deco wall torches, and an end-table hides an exercise mat, sneakers and ankle weights. A polished-chrome stereo tuner and eight-track sound better than when they left the factory.

Rasayana's bedroom is a study in well-controlled chaos. Under the neatly-made bed is a locked pistol safe, holding a cleaning kit and ammunition purchased with cash. The weapon is reverently maintained. A big leather blotter nearly covers the small desk. A Rolodex sits beside the old-fashioned desk lamp, and a Filofax, Apple Newton, a “Getting Things Done” tickler file, and a spring-loaded phone number file all sit on top of a neat pile of dog-eared Moleskine notebooks. There is a fancy box for displaying vintage fountain pens, but it sits empty under the bed and the pens are in a cup on the desk, along with an Uzi pen with a self-defense striking point. A crystal candy jar holds flower petals and crumpled sheets of paper, grimy and scrawled with a half-dozen different handwritings. The Thinkpad tablet under the desk is hot from constant charging.

There are a few framed professional recognitions and certificates on the walls, as well as motivational posters. In small oval picture frame, a professional-looking woman in her late 30s humors the camera with a tolerant smile.

Across from the bedroom through the double doors is a craft room with a worn but sturdy table. A big frame on the back wall holds double doors. Inside is a pegboard with a sparse but growing collection of hand tools. Several fishing flies sit in a small box nearby. There is a stash of yarn, receipt still in the bag, in a clear plastic bin with a dozen potholders.

A clever, hidden catch opens the pegboard. Behind it is a cork bulletin board, cluttered with photos and descriptions of local sites and of the cabal's mentors. Chalk arrows and bits of pushpinned yarn criscross the wall crazily. Photos and descriptions of known Seers of the Throne and accusations levied against our mentor's cabal fill the corners in an abstract, spiraling mind map. An odd, tangled cat's cradle of different colored threads is pinned at the bottom of the corkboard across what could be a timeline. Each thread begins at a small paper flag with initials written on it in Melvin's neat, block handwriting. Most of the threads lead to Post-It notes with question marks pinned to the end of the thread.

  1. What moves your characters to anger or violence?
    Melvin has enough of a chivalrous/chauvanistic streak that someone hurting a woman particularly gets his dander up. He's likely to get in the way even if the woman is obviously competent to handle the situation.
  2. What moves your character to tears?
    Rasayana hasn't cried as an adult, until witnessing several murders in Los Angeles. He is always ready to talk about other people's feelings, but has a macho, male point of view on sharing his own. Also, not much bad has happened to him until his magical life started. He'll cry over brutality that he can't do anything about.
  3. What makes your character very happy?
  4. What makes your character depressed or hopeless?
    Rasa has always been in control. He gets frustrated when he can't think or talk his way out of a conflict. He doesn't like watching people waste their potential (or just make stupid decisions). He also doesn't really understand the kind of insane fanaticism that draws mages into conflict, but he's learning.
  5. What sorts of situations make the character feel awkward or ill-at-ease?
  6. What's the best way to persuade the character to do something?
  1. Appeal to his chivalry or tell him that he's not doing enough to help someone. Or, give a reasoned, rational argument. If the logic bears out, more often than not he'll agree despite himself.
  1. Choose five adjectives to describe the character.
  1. Overwhelmed. Nosy. Pretentious. Earnest. Chivalrous.
  1. Give me some reasons why someone might reasonably dislike your character on first impression. Why might someone come to hate them in the long term?
  2. How would your character react if he or she was publicly humiliated by a total stranger? What if it was a private humiliation? What if it was a friend and not a stranger?
  1. As we've seen, Rasa is stubborn. He's more than willing to try to save face, and to throw magical power behind the effort. He's fought a magical duel to save face and defend his mentor's reputation.
  2. Privately, it would be the same. Except, without an audience, Rasa would get less rhetorical and more personal. He's willing to threaten and intimidate, if possible.
  3. With a friend, he would try to defuse the situation, using "I words" instead of "You words," but failing that, he's back into his shell.
  1. If your character could have one object for himself or herself (and not to turn around and sell), regardless of price, what would it be?
  2. What kind of music does your character like? Does he or she like different kinds of music in different circumstances?
    Completely out of touch with popular music. Probably listens to world folk and classical on NPR, less because he enjoys it and more to get "cultured."
  3. What is the character's favorite food?
    Every now and then, he breaks down and eats a steak dinner. In Wyoming, it's probably against the local religion not to.
  4. What's your character's favorite color? Any particular reason?
    Melvin almost always wears Earth tones. They're professional without being distracting or flashy "power" colors.
  5. What is your character's routine when he or she is not tending to Awakened business/crises?
    He's been so harried lately -- first, a good rest. Hitting the sports bars or bowling alley. Hiding in his room at the rental house. He's started walking, then jogging. Waiting for warmer weather for swimming. Every now and then he calls his agent to see if he has any speaking engagements. Anything but magical stuff -- unless asked.
  6. Assuming they could speak, what would each of your character's parents (separately) say about him/her?
  7. Who are you important to? Why?
    One or more of his clients might think fondly of him.
  8. Assume your character is plagued with a recurring nightmare that awakens him or her in a cold sweat every time. Describe the dream. (This will not necessarily be the case, though many people do have frightening, recurring dreams.)
    Rasa's speaking at a podium. A line of people keep walking up to him, asking for directions or advice. He cheerfully takes the time to help each person in turn, but it always goes wrong. Following Rasayana's advice literally, his listeners end up walking over the edge of a precipice and disappearing silently. Melvin can't step off of the dais he's standing on, it's unfathomably high, now that he notices. He loses his balance and pitches backward into emptiness.
  9. What aspect of him/herself is the character most uncomfortable with? What aspect of him/herself is the character most satisfied with?
    Rasayana fears on some level that his Awakening was a mistake, or that he's not doing something right. He thinks he was more secure as a regular Joe (mostly true).
    Yet, he's confident that he can help people meet their true potential, if he can learn more about the threads of Fate.
  10. Is the character an introvert or an extrovert? How does the character behave in group settings? How does the character behave around someone in whom he/she is interested romantically?
    Absolutely withdrawn unless he's in his element, socially. Will barge into any social situation where he feels he has a toehold, otherwise clams up a bit. Gunshy romantically since he divorced his wife. Some old-fashioned manners.

[edit] Awakening & Beyond

  1. Describe your character’s Awakening.
    Melvin went into a sort of fugue when Claire handed him the divorce papers. He does remember she was not unkind. He took the papers, knelt and kissed her hand, and walked away without another word. He rented a convertible and spent four seasons crisscrossing the country. Haggard and half-wild, he remembers signing his name on dusty hotel registers, credit card slips, copies of his books, a woman's stomach, archaic receipts, journals, and the dirt. But doesn't have any tangible evidence of any of it. He returned the proud, scarred and weathered rental car, strange brambles in its tires; paid a one week late fee, and placed the signed paperwork gently on Claire's doorstep at midnight.
  2. How has the Awakening changed your character, other than the obvious kewl powerz?
    Seeing the huge jump in potential between Sleeper and Mage, Rasayana wonders if his previous existence was worthwhile, if he actually helped his clients, how he could ignore his wife for so long. He has also had to learn to defend himself and protect his friends.
  3. Why did your character choose the Shadow Name s/he did?
    Rasayana refers to a style of Indian alchemy, and is considered a branch of Ayurveda. Melvin's path involves transmuting the self/soul to fulfill its destiny, although the path also includes mind/body health.
  4. Name and describe three non-supernatural individuals that your character interacts with on a regular basis (such as a neighbor, best friend, co-worker, and the like). If you have any Contacts or Allies, these can be part of those Merits.
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